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Deeper Learning: A Collaborative Classroom Is Key

Deeper Learning: A Collaborative Classroom Is Key
What's ideal when it comes to collaboration in our classrooms? Here's one coveted scenario: several children gathered at a table engaged in a high-level task, discussing, possibly debating an issue, making shared decisions, and designing a product that demonstrates all this deeper learning. As teachers, we'd love to see this right out the gate, but this sort of sophisticated teamwork takes scaffolding. It won't just happen by placing students together with a piece of provocative text or an engaging task. (Heck, this deeper learning collaboration is challenging for most adults!) In preparing our students for college and careers, 21st century skills call on us to develop highly collaborative citizens -- it's one of the 4 Cs, after all. So how do we begin this scaffolded journey? Establish Group Agreements Deciding on group norms, or agreements, right at the get go will give each student a voice and provide accountability for all. Teach Them How to Listen Teach Them How To Negotiate

20 Tips for Creating a Professional Learning Network Networking is a prime form of 21st century learning. The world is much smaller thanks to technology. Learning is transforming into a globally collaborative enterprise. Take for example scientists; professional networks allow the scientific community to share discoveries much faster. Just this month, a tech news article showcased how Harvard scientists are considering that “sharing discoveries is more efficient and honorable than patenting them.” As educators, we aim to be connected to advance our craft. Learning networks are based on the theory of connectivism, or learning from diverse social webs. What are some ways to grow your PLN and improve the quality of your interactions? 10 Tips For Using PLN’s Keep the spirit of collaboration as your driving force. 10 Tools & Strategies for Establishing a Productive PLN Use Diigo, Evernote, Pocket, or Delicious to bookmark links. PLNs are a powerful change agent. Tagged as: digital tools, free professional development, PLN, teaching

Thinkging Differently About Learning: Next Steps Checklist  As I am wrapping my mind around the whole concept of “Learning How to Learn“, I am also thinking about the infrastructure of the school landscape that needs to be in place to make learning in new forms possible. Steve Hargadon, with his “You First- You be the lead learner”call for action, Will Richardson’s 3 Starting Points for Thinking Differently About Learning and Alec Couros’ slidedeck Taking on the Challenge of 21st Century Teaching and Learning are the core of my “Thinking Differently About Learning- Next Steps” Checklist Once a school landscape/infrastructure/platforms and [educator's] Learning “You First” are in place, new forms of student learning will happen organically. I understand that changing a school culture, starting to think differently about learning and education is very complex. Please add comments with a step, that seems to be indispensable in your infrastructure, Learning “You First” or Student Learning section. You Can Also download the checklist as a pdf file.

Writer’s Digest - Writing Prompts Write a scene that includes a character speaking a different language, speaking in a thick accent, or otherwise speaking in a way that is unintelligibe to the other characters. (Note: You don't necessarily need to know the language the character is speaking—be creative with it!) Describe a character's reaction to something without explaining what it is. Write a story or a scene about one character playing a prank on another. Writing Prompt: Write a story that involves confusion over homonyms (words that have the same spelling but different meanings) or homophones (words that sound the same but are spelled differently). For World Storytelling Day, share the best story you've ever heard or told by word of mouth, or have a fictional character recount their favorite story. You're making your way down a cobbled street when a stocky, red-bearded man beckons you into an alley. Pick an item from each column in the chart to create a simile.

Top 7 Guides on how to Use iPad in your Classroom iPad is definitely a gadget of huge potential in education. Many schools in the States and Canada are adopting it as a learning tool within their curriculum. Developers have already started creating e-textbooks with enhanced mobile compatibility. More important, there are now several apps that are easy to use and that enable teachers to create their own teaching content to go on iPad. Given this growing important of iPad in education, Educational Technology and Mobile Learning deemed it crucial to provide its readers with some of its best guides and posts we have published here during this year. 1- 12 Questions to Ask before Using iPad with your Students 2- 62 Ways to Use iPad with your Students 3- 100+ Tips on how to Integrate iPad into your Classroom 4- Excellent Slides on The Use of iPad in Education 5- iPad in The Classroom A Great Free eBook 6- 29 iPad Resources, Tutorials, and Guides Every Teacher should Know about 7- 8 Free Resources on The Use of iPad in Education

Make your move – Sit less – Be active for life! Make your move – Sit less – Be active for life! Regardless of how young or old you are, there are physical activity and sedentary behaviour guidelines available for you. Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines are supported by a rigorous evidence review process that considered: the relationship between physical activity (including the amount, frequency, intensity and type of physical activity) and health outcome indicators, including the risk of chronic disease and obesity; and the relationship between sedentary behaviour/sitting time and health outcome indicators, including the risk of chronic disease and obesity. National Physical Activity Recommendations for Children 0-5 years Being physically active every day is important for the healthy growth and development of infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers. These recommendations are for all infants aged 0-5 years who have not yet started school, irrespective of cultural background, gender or ability. Physical Activity

25 Things You Should Know About Word Choice 1. A Series Of Word Choices Here’s why this matters: because both writing and storytelling comprise, at the most basic level, a series of word choices. Words are the building blocks of what we do. They are the atoms of our elements. 2. Words are like LEGO bricks: the more we add, the more we define the reality of our playset. 3. You know that game — “Oh, you’re cold, colder, colder — oh! 4. Think of it like a different game, perhaps: you’re trying to say as much as possible with as few words as you can muster. 5. Finding the perfect word is as likely as finding a downy-soft unicorn with a pearlescent horn riding a skateboard made from the bones of your many enemies. 6. For every right word, you have an infinity of wrong ones. 7. You might use a word that either oversteps or fails to meet the idea you hope to present. 8. Remember how I said earlier that words are like LEGO, blah blah blah help define reality yadda yadda poop noise? 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. Am. 15. No, really. 16. 17. 18.

Videos Suggested for Back to School Faculty Meetings and other educational audiences This post could be almost infinite: there is most certainly an extraordinary array of options for videos which expand educators’ understandings and inspire advances in 21st century learning. But curation is about choice and selection, and while I know I will leave out many, I thought I’d offer up a set of 15 of my favorites for your consideration for video screening at at back-to-school or beginning-of-the-year faculty meetings (and/or parent and board meetings). I’ve starred those that might also serve as useful and engaging videos to share with students at back to school or other assemblies. I am sure every reader will have their own opinions about the videos I’ve left off this list, and please: add them below using the comment box, or, post yourself your own set and share the link from this post to your own. 21st century learning generally: 1. 1b. 2. 3. 4. 5. * 5b. 6. 6b. 7. * 8. Innovation * 9. * 9b. * 10. * 11. Project-Based Learning 12. What PBL Isn’t. What PBL Is. 13. * 14. 15. 16.

The Other 21st Century Skills: Why Teach Them Many have attempted to identify the skills important for a learner today in this era of the 21st century (I know it is an overused phrase). I have an affinity towards the skills identified by Tony Wagner: Critical thinking and problem-solvingCollaboration across networks and leading by influenceAgility and adaptabilityInitiative and entrepreneurshipEffective oral and written communicationAccessing and analyzing informationCuriosity and imagination This presentation sparked my thinking about what other skills and attributes would serve the learners (of all ages) in this era of learning. Some other ones that I believe important based on what I hear at conferences, read via blogs and other social networks include: GritResilienceHope and OptimismVisionSelf-RegulationEmpathy and Global Stewardship Why Teach 21st Century Skills According to a recent (2013) Gallup Poll, Americans Say U.S. What Is Typically Taught Like this: Like Loading...

10 Rules for Students and Teachers (and Life) by John Cage and Sister Corita Kent by Maria Popova “Nothing is a mistake. There’s no win and no fail, there’s only make.” Buried in various corners of the web is a beautiful and poignant list titled Some Rules for Students and Teachers, attributed to John Cage, who passed away twenty years ago this week. The list, however, originates from celebrated artist and educator Sister Corita Kent and was created as part of a project for a class she taught in 1967-1968. It was subsequently appropriated as the official art department rules at the college of LA’s Immaculate Heart Convent, her alma mater, but was commonly popularized by Cage, whom the tenth rule cites directly. RULE ONE: Find a place you trust, and then try trusting it for awhile.RULE TWO: General duties of a student — pull everything out of your teacher; pull everything out of your fellow students.RULE THREE: General duties of a teacher — pull everything out of your students. Donating = Loving Bringing you (ad-free) Brain Pickings takes hundreds of hours each month.

21k12 in 2012: My Year in Blogging, including Two Top Ten Lists My fifth year in blogging is now coming to an end. My blog began with in the fall of 2008 over at blogspot, and then I migrated it here to wordpress in late January 2009. Once a year– and only once a year, I like to share some reflections and statistics upon my year here at 21k12. 2012 sadly saw a small dip in the number of postings: down to 120 posts this year, compared to 150 last year, 165 the year prior. But, I do allow myself vacations– and as I completed my third and final year as St. As for total page views, growth continued. But I did double again, for the third year in a row, taking 2012 views to 142,000. Let me be clear here: there is no possibility that 2013 will see a fourth “doubling” in views. In classic 20/80 fashion, it is only a very small number of posts and pages which generate the view rates in the five figures that support the high overall totals. The 21st century videos post I pulled together in a couple of hours in August, sitting on my couch watching the Olympics.